Free Tax Clinic a Game Changer for Many HOPE House Members
Meet Sue: June’s Volunteer of the Month
What brought you to HOPE House?
I was doing taxes last year at the Drop In Centre as part of the CRA Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) with Tina Brophie. She asked me to take part in the Point-in-Time Count and I chose HOPE House as the place to do it – I hadn’t heard of HOPE House before. While I was doing the count I sensed that there might be a need for a Free Tax Clinic at HOPE House as well and so I started being available during the Wednesday breakfast.
What do you like about volunteering at HOPE House?
From the beginning I was made to feel welcome. I was included in the announcements at breakfast and usually at least one person would come over and ask if I could help them. A lot of people had not done their taxes for quite a few years and really had no idea where to start.
I like the feeling that I can actually help them.
During the recent tax season we had a significant increase in awareness of the service – with many people just needing their taxes done for the past year. However a significant number of people who come need a number of years caught up and I find these the most rewarding. It does seem to be something that can make a real difference to people’s lives.
I stay because I think what I do can make a positive difference to some people – both financially and emotionally.
How have you seen HOPE House change lives?
HOPE House seems to have a real sense of community – for everyone – men, women, children, old and young. It seems to provide a wide range of very needed services – the food store, clothes shop, hairdresser, AA, hobbies groups, etc. But it seems more than this – more where friends meet and support each other.
I think when people have got to the point in their lives where they want/feel able to make a change, that the staff are there to help them actually accomplish this.